SINGAPORE: How do we learn and remember things? What is fear, and what happens when our brain falls ill? All these questions are now answered in a first—ever brain book, written by youth, for youth.
It is a collaborative effort between the Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (STEP) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). STEP is a non—profit philanthropic organisation by Temasek Trust
Youths can now learn all about the brain and its functions in a new book, written by more than 30 Year 5 and Year 6 NUS High students. They were mentored by professors and post—graduate students, and the students even did the illustrations themselves.
Co—editor of The Brain Book, Associate Professor Lim Kah Leong, said that the brain is one organ often overlooked and taken for granted.
Assoc Prof Lim said: "I hope, of course, that the book will serve as a primer for our young to understand the functions of the brain, as well as how these dysfunction of the brain could cause neurological and mental disorders."
He added that the idea is inspired by the very few available books concerning our grey matter appropriate for the youth.
He said: "When we looked into books available at the bookstores, they are either too elementary in nature or otherwise too specialised. So we are hoping to prepare what we call a ’Goldilocks’ book to target this youth group, and we have actually got students from NUS High School to write the book. So we have a book now that is written by high school students for high school students."
The book was put together in just one month.
Samantha Yong, a Year 5 student at NUS High, said producing the book was a learning experience of a lifetime.
"What I learnt from this was that not to take things at the surface level because initially when we first saw the topic, we found it a bit boring. But then later the more we researched on it, the more we found it’s very applicable to any normal man, and the more we found, it’s actually very interesting... so it’s a very good learning experience," she said.
Currently, the book is only distributed internally to schools, libraries and the various education ministries of ASEAN countries.
An inaugural Brain Camp is also being held to cultivate curiosity in brain research.
Some 150 youths aged 16 to 18 years old from ASEAN and other asian countries will be taking part in workshops and visit places of interest like the Singapore Science Centre. Organisers hope to make the brain camp an annual event.
The STEP—NUS Sunburst Brain Camp and The Brain Book is funded by STEP and in partnership with the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Department of Physiology.
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